Easy ways to make your hamster happy
Regardless of the type of pet you own, we all want them to be content. Fortunately, most pets, including hamsters, can be made happy with the proper care and enrichment. Even though hamsters are frequently regarded as one of the simpler pets to own, taking care of them properly requires a lot of work.
The first step to making sure your hamster is happy is to make sure they are well taken care of. There are many other things you can do as well once you have the fundamentals down. These “extras” will be covered in this article.
Here is a list of things you can try if you want to make your hamster happy.
1. Provide a bigger cage
Since hamsters spend most of their time in their cage, it’s crucial to make sure it’s large enough for their needs. Hamsters require both mental and physical stimulation to remain content and healthy. A bigger cage frequently makes it simpler to complete these tasks.
A single hamster in the wild can cover a large area. Even though we won’t be giving our hamster much room, it is beneficial to give them something a little larger than what is typically required. A hamster may not like a small space just because it is small in size.
There should be plenty of room for hamsters to burrow, play, and have things for their physical needs. Additionally, a larger area guarantees that the hamster will get the necessary amount of exercise, which is necessary for them to maintain a healthy weight and stay in shape.
2. Provide a complete diet
Often, “just good enough” will do when it comes to your hamster’s diet. Your hamster can survive on a wide variety of commercial foods, but that does not guarantee that it will thrive. Optimizing your hamster’s diet is one of the first things you can do to make them happier. If your hamster is eating the right things, he will feel much better.
You shouldn’t solely depend on a packaged hamster diet. Instead, incorporate suitable fresh foods as well. Your hamster will become happier and healthier as a result of this.
Having said that, it’s not always better to eat more. Hamsters frequently keep food in their burrows. They won’t simply abandon their food in the bowl. The amount of food your hamster consumes cannot therefore be determined by the amount they leave behind. Hamsters are terrible at controlling their own food intake. As a result, you must make sure that you only give them the right amount.
3. Fresh water is always better
The volume of water a hamster will drink per day will surprise you. This is particularly true if the cage is a little bigger because your hamster will likely be moving around a little more. Your hamster’s health depends entirely on access to fresh water. Your hamster won’t be content or healthy if you don’t provide enough water.
It’s a common misconception that since hamsters are native to deserts, they don’t require much water. Although hamsters can go without water for a respectable amount of time, this does not put them in a healthy situation. Hamsters kept in captivity need constant access to clean water.
To guarantee that your hamster is always hydrated, pick a high-quality water bottle. Water should always be accessible to your pet whenever they require it.
4. Use an exercise wheel
Hamsters run a great deal in the wild. Every night, the typical hamster may travel up to 5 miles in search of food, water, and mates. They obviously can’t do this in captivity. An exercise wheel is essential for this reason, among others. Giving hamsters the chance to run is crucial because they were created to do so.
Exercise wheels are not a gimmick that is overpriced. Instead, they are an extremely important toy that every hamster needs. They risk gaining weight and boredom without one. You have a variety of hamster wheels to pick from. You might even be able to have two if your cage is large enough so that your hamster will have some variety.
5. Add a tunneling system
Natural tunnelers, hamsters. They always do it. A hamster will attempt to dig tunnels if left unattended in its cage, just like they would in the wild. They frequently don’t have much room for this, though. Additionally, the typical bedding found in hamster cages is inappropriate. Due to these factors, their owners frequently have to construct the tunneling system for them.
Using plastic tunnels made for commercial use is a simple way to accomplish this. But the price of these is high. A large setup will probably cost you a significant sum of money to complete. Paper towel rolls and plastic bottles can also be used to create your own DIY tunnels. Even though it takes a little longer and won’t be as attractive, this is a much more affordable option.
6. Consider treats – in moderation
An easy way to make a hamster happy is to give them treats. Our hamsters will enjoy their favorite foods just as our favorite foods make us happy. A delicious treat that is also healthy is fresh produce. Naturally, some vegetables are better for you than others, so do your research before giving anything to your hamster. Additionally, you ought to think about giving your hamster nuts and seeds, which can be just as healthy.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to give your hamster food sparingly. You don’t want them to try to subsist solely on sweets. They also need to eat a lot of their regular food.
7. Let them stay nocturnal
Every type of hamster will snooze during the day. You should try to communicate with them as much as you can at night, as opposed to during the day. Some owners may attempt to change their hamster’s sleeping schedule, but doing so usually has negative effects on the hamster’s wellbeing.
Allowing the hamster to sleep as much as they want during the day is highly advised. In the late evening or early morning, before they have gone to sleep, clean their tank and play with them.
8. Provide deep bedding
Hamsters love to dig burrows, as we’ve already covered. They frequently hide their leftover food and sleep here. It’s crucial to give hamsters plenty of space to burrow because they feel the safest inside of one. Making their bedding deeper than usual is necessary to achieve this. Because they are so small, hamsters don’t require much vertical space. By giving them a lot of bedding, you can profit from this.
9. Enrichment is essential
Hamsters benefit from enrichment. It is necessary, not just something you should do on your own. Hamsters require food, water, and mental exercise, just like other animals. Using toys is a simple way to offer a lot of enrichment. In fact, we advise frequently switching out the toys so that your hamster can always try something new.
Hamsters can get bored playing with the same toy repeatedly, just like kids can. Toys they played with months ago will suddenly become new again if you switch out the toys, though. It’s a simple way to keep things interesting for your hamster.
10. Make their cage feel natural
You should try to create the most natural environment possible for hamsters in order to make them happy. Trouble usually arises when the hamster is placed in an environment that is too dissimilar from that for which they have evolved. Bring in any natural elements that your hamster might come across in the wild.
Make sure that anything you plan to put in the cage is safe for your hamster before you add it. Nothing containing pesticides or other chemicals should be added.
11. Don’t clean too often!
Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t frequently clean your hamster’s cage. You’ll be removing their burrows from their cage each time you clean it, which will probably stress them out. Given that hamsters have sensitive noses, you should keep their catch reasonably clean. But you should try to spot clean as much as you can. When a spot cleaning would suffice, there is no need to completely redo the bedding.
Teach your hamster to use a litter box instead, as this will make cleaning up much simpler. Since you won’t have to disturb the rest of your hamster’s habitat, cleaning the litter box will be significantly less stressful for them.
12. Show them affection – but not too much
People are notoriously very touchy-feely. They want to give their pets hugs and affection. For us, it comes completely naturally, but for our hamsters, it might not. Some hamsters enjoy being petted. Please feel free to pet your hamster if this describes them.
Other hamsters, on the other hand, are less than thrilled by human touch and would rather not be touched. We advise against petting your hamster excessively in this situation because there is no need to stress them out more than is necessary. This is not as uncommon as you might think because most hamsters live alone in the wild. The majority of hamsters don’t show much affection or touch.
13. Don’t buy your hamster a friend
It’s a widespread misconception that hamsters require a friend to feel content. However, the majority of hamsters are solitary creatures. They don’t need to be kept in captivity or live with other hamsters in the wild. Although some species of hamsters will tolerate the presence of other hamsters nearby, most hamsters prefer to live alone.
Hamsters frequently engage in combat until one is killed or relocated. Therefore, unless they are a specific breed that gets along with other hamsters, you should never keep your hamsters together.
You must keep each hamster in a separate cage if you decide to purchase more than one. This entails maintaining order and sanitizing anything used in either cage. You want to keep everything as scent-free as possible because the other hamster’s scent can make them anxious (including you).
14. Let them hide
Burrows are created by hamsters so they can hide from predators and the sweltering desert sun. They typically feel most at ease when they are hiding. Most hamsters will flee to their hiding places if they feel threatened. If they feel the need to hide but are unable to do so because there is nowhere safe to hide, problems may result.
Your hamster’s cage ought to have a number of places where it is possible to hide. Although it’s still a good idea to use pre-made structures, they frequently dig and build their own. When you clean the tank and give your hamster a reliable hiding place, they stay intact.
Equally crucial is allowing your hamster to hide when they choose to do so. By handling them when they are scared, you are not making them less shy or demonstrating to them that everything is fine. Before removing them from their tank, give them some time to calm down.
15. Provide opportunities to chew
Like most rodents, hamsters continually develop new teeth. As a result, they must constantly chew in order to wear down their teeth. Their teeth can grow through your hamster’s mouth and cause a variety of issues if they are not properly worn down.
Fortunately, chewing comes naturally to hamsters. Simply provide them with the means to do so. Hamsters can use a variety of chews that are sold on the market to wear down their teeth. To allow your hamster to naturally control the growth of their teeth as they would in the wild, make sure they always have access to a few of these.
16. Put the cage in a suitable spot
You shouldn’t just put your hamster’s cage anywhere. Hamsters are a bit sensitive to things like noise and temperature fluctuations. You don’t want to put your hamster near a TV or another noisy piece of equipment, as they will likely become scared more often than not.
You also don’t want to put them in a drafty area. While drafts usually don’t affect us very much, hamsters are very small. When a cold draft comes their way, they can get cold very quickly. For this reason, don’t put them near an outside door or a leaky window. They prefer a nice, quiet corner where they can feel safe and warm.
17. Only use safe accessories
Many hamster injuries are caused by wrong use of accessories in your hamster’s cage. Just because something appears to be safe does not necessarily imply that it is. Before it is safe for your hamster, everything must be cleansed and disinfected.
While using bits of wood found outside as decorations can help to create a natural setting, they may be infected with bacteria or hazardous pesticides. This has the potential to make your hamster sick, which is not something they will appreciate.
As a result, you should always disinfect and clean anything before placing it in your hamster’s cage. This includes commercial toys because you don’t know what they’ve been exposed to.
18. Get a hamster ball
Hamster balls are the classic hamster toy. They are, however, more difficult to utilize than you may assume. Your hamster should only be left in their ball for 20 minutes at a time. Any longer, and you risk limiting your hamster’s capacity to eat or drink, which might lead to complications. Remember that your hamster can’t meet any of its needs while inside the hamster ball, so don’t keep them in there for too long.
You should also keep an eye on your hamster while it is in the ball. Some feel frustrated because they are unable to interact with the world around them, while others become terrified because they are unable to hide behind anything. If this occurs, shorten your hamster’s ball time and try again another day.
19. Give them a sand bath
Hamsters enjoy taking sand baths. While taking a sand bath does make the hamster cleaner by eliminating excess oils from their skin and fur, the simple act of bathing may make any hamster happy.
Make sure to use hamster-safe sand and a suitable dish that won’t tip over. The last thing you want is sand and a sandy hamster all over the floor.
If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!
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